Summer is just around the corner! This means that the kids are out of school and families like your own are gearing up to vacation in Orlando, Florida.
There are many reasons why Orlando, Florida in July is a popular holiday destination. This city really does have it all, from Disney World and beaches to wildlife! There are destinations and events to enjoy for kids of all ages, families of all kinds, and budgets of every range.
Apart from the regular attractions, the city offers a plethora of summer Orlando activities and events as well; some of them especially noteworthy for being on Independence Day. It is enough to make even the heat and unpredictable showers of July worth it, in our opinion. Pack sunscreen, light raincoats, some umbrellas, and keep reading to find out the best things to do in Orlando in July with your family!
Walt Disney World
It’s a great time to visit Disney World Orlando in July, as it plays host to a variety of unique summer activities and events. The world-famous Independence Day festivities at Disney are held on July 4th, which happens to roughly coincide with the end of the equally popular Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Visiting Orlando in July to experience Disney is also memorable as you get the chance to attend the extra special events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the theme park with Disney’s 18-month long event, “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Take your family to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival one last time if you find yourself missing the spring blooms. Admire the magnificent Disney-themed topiaries and fragrant multi-colored flower displays. This event provides numerous photo-ops, so dress to impress and bring your camera. When hunger strikes, pick up some food from one of the many food kiosks around. Kids especially love seeing the chefs prepare their food in the open kitchens.
There’s no better way to watch the 4th of July fireworks than by attending “Disney’s Celebrate America show” at the Magic Kingdom on the 3rd and 4th of the month. With a musical score composed of a patriotic and Disney soundtrack to match, and surprise moments that are synchronized to the music, everyone will be bursting with excitement! Keep in mind that it is one of Florida’s largest fireworks displays so expect a large crowd and wear comfy shoes.
Although not as long as Magic Kingdom’s, Epcot’s fireworks display on Independence Day is still an impressive spectacle that is worth experiencing. Especially if the Magic Kingdom is too full. It’s a good idea to go to Epcot early in the day to celebrate the last day of the flower festival and remain late to watch the fireworks.
What beats watching the fireworks from up close? Watching them from afar without the crowds while on a beach! Camp at Disney’s beloved Fort Wilderness Resort Campsite to enjoy the nighttime extravaganza with only the people who matter the most, your family. If you want to save money but still catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks, go to the Ticket & Transportation Center. It has splendid views of the show from outside the park.
SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean
Feel alive at SeaWorld’s biggest party, Electric Ocean, which runs every evening in July. Spend a fun-filled evening of joy at this family event as the sun sets with gorgeous golden hour lighting. There’s so much to do here, from dancing to electrifying music beneath the waves to meeting the cutest rescue animals on the Rescue Tails.
Sway to your heart’s content at the one-of-a-kind family concert, Elmo Rocks. The event features the lovely band of Elmo, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert, and Ernie. Watch your kids’ faces light up as they see their favorite characters make some music!
Your children will enjoy meeting various rescued birds, primates, and reptiles at SeaWorld’s Rescue Tails. The educational program aims to raise awareness of animal welfare and is a great chance to learn about the park’s commitment to animal rescue.
The highlight of Electric Ocean is Ignite, which features stunning lasers and fireworks that will leave you smiling at the end of the night. The ideal time to attend this show is Independence Day, when a patriotic-themed fountain, laser, and fireworks display is showcased.
While you can see the fireworks from anywhere in the park, some areas are better than others when it comes to getting the most spectacular (and comfortable) views. Standing viewing is available at The Waterfront and Orca Encounter Pathway, while seating is available at Bayside Stadium and Bayside Pathway. The Spice Mill Patio is wheelchair accessible and offers a multi-level viewing experience of Ignite. A word of advice: arrive at least two hours early to secure the best spot.
Busch Gardens Tampa is only a short drive from Orlando. With thrill rides, animal encounters at safaris, and amazing live performances, this theme park offers ultimate family entertainment. The most enjoyable part? In July, you get to continue experiencing it all late into the night thanks to Busch Gardens Summer Nights!
Summer Nights is a lavish annual festival that extends park hours to provide tourists with nightly entertainment. Aside from riding all of the exhilarating coasters in the dark, you will also get to experience other the other unique summer-exclusive events and themed DJ parties that take place around the park.
Cirque Electric, a mind-blowing acrobatic stunt that is produced exclusively by Busch Gardens, will leave you speechless. Amp up the excitement by checking out the “Turn It Up! Ice Show” which showcases professional ice skaters celebrating summer with vibrant lighting and pop music.
“Spark! Nighttime Spectacular” is the show that everyone visiting Busch Gardens in July looks forward to. Witness explosive fireworks, dazzling lights and lasers, over-the-top pyrotechnics, and a refreshing water element. While the show is primarily centered on Independence day during the first few days of July, the show continues to take place all throughout the Summer Nights Festival so don’t worry if you choose to skip it on the 4th of July for the crowds. You can still catch it on a different day!
End your thrilling visit with special summer treats from one of the theme park’s many restaurants. Your kids will love glow-in-the-dark beverages!
Red, White & BOOM at LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida has a lot of rides that appeal to everyone, both adults and children, making it popular with locals and tourists alike. Kids can enjoy an array of interactive activities that allow them to flex their creativity while having fun. Attractions such as the LEGO Movie World, Duplo Valley, and Lego Ninjago World are all must-visits when at LEGOLAND.
During the month of July, LEGOLAND Florida Resort organizes special events to celebrate America’s birthday, aside from the usual fun things to do. “Red, White, and BOOM” is a three-day festival that provides nonstop family entertainment. Buckle in and help build a massive American flag out of lego bricks, or design your own patriotic model to win a lego prize pack. Let your children blow off a little steam while their imaginations run wild, and as the sun sets, dance away into the night to the tunes of a live DJ with your family.
Finally, let your fantastical day come to a close by watching some marvelous fireworks and a musical show over Lake Eloise. Watch your kid’s jaw drop when millions of tiny Lego bricks explode into fireworks and lights. Remember to collect 3D glasses before 7 p.m. to avoid missing out! Pirate’s Cove North & South Stadium, Lego Technic, and Miniland USA are the park’s best viewing areas.
Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola
Lake Eola hosts several events every year and is a popular family destination in Orlando. In the case you’re feeling a little tired of the theme parks or are in the mood to keep your celebrations a little more budget-friendly this Independence Day, Lake Eola Park’s famous “Fireworks at the Fountain” will do the trick!
The highlight of the event is the twenty-minute fireworks show that happens just above Lake Eola Fountain around 9 p.m. Watch your little ones’ mesmerized faces as dazzling fireworks illuminate the night sky in rhythm with the Orlando Concert Band’s patriotic music.
Aside from the fireworks, the festival also features a variety of family-friendly activities. Take a stroll through the many vendor booths while bobbing your head to live music. Parents will be relieved to hear that there is a separate play area that is large enough to accommodate more than a hundred kids. And when it’s time to appease your hunger, Lake Eola does not disappoint. Satiate your appetite at the many food trucks and beverage kiosks.
A piece of advice? Pack a picnic for your family and relax on the lawns around the lake to watch the fireworks. You’ll need to prepare ahead and arrive early to get the best spot but it is so worth it!
4th of July Celebration at Avalon Park
Avalon Park celebrates the 4th of July every year with live entertainment and summer activities in Florida. If you’re looking for a relaxing and laid-back Independence Day event in Orlando, this one’s for you!
Participate in the 4th of July Bike Parade and show off your America-themed strollers, bikes, and wagons. Exciting prizes are awarded to families and groups with the most patriotic and impressive decorations. It’s a vibrant way to get the kids in on the creative action!
If baking is more your speed, roll up your sleeves and put your favorite, tried and true apple pie recipe up to the test. Bake your finest for the Apple Pie Bake-Off activity, and if you place in the top 3, be awarded special rewards!
For families who love street food, this event has plenty of food trucks to choose from. There’s also a dessert section for those with a sweet tooth. Send the little ones to work up an appetite at the wet and dry bounce park. It’s a favorite among children of all ages! Teenagers have a blast at the carnival games.
The fun and wholesome event ends with a brief but breathtaking fireworks display over Lake Avalon to cap off the evening.
4th of July Celebration at Winter Park
The city of Winter Park holds an annual 4th of July festival with the goal of bringing locals and tourists together to celebrate freedom in a family-friendly atmosphere. Attracting nearly 5,000 people every year, the event is quite significant!
Drive out 20 minutes to check out the festival which includes a live DJ, displays, vendor stalls, and interactive games. Kids will enjoy the bouncy castle, hands-on craft activities, and their tunes from their favorite TV shows. The face painting stations are a huge hit among both adults and kids for obvious reasons!
The stunning fireworks display over the jumbotron is a sight to behold after the fun evening parade elevates your celebratory mood. Leap with joy as a rainbow of colors flashes across the sky!
There are various food stalls at the event that offer a wide variety of food and beverage. With complimentary fruit and lemonade available for visitors to enjoy, this event even allows adults to bring their own alcohol, making it plenty of fun for not just the kids, but the parents too!
Monumental 4th of July Celebration at Kissimmee
At Kissimmee’s famed Lakefront Park, the city celebrates the birth of America with its largest annual event. If you’re in Orlando, you need to make a trip to Kissimmee, just 22 miles away, to witness this one-of-a-kind event that offers a lot of fun for every kind of family.
Take a stroll around hundreds of art and craft vendor booths displaying and selling amazing works while humming the tunes of America’s classics. Many artists from all across Florida will be exhibiting their talents on the live performance stage.
Your kids will have a blast at the popular KUA kids zone that hosts a variety of inflatable rides and craft stations. The event stands out because it includes batting cages and video games, which provide plenty of entertainment for teens. After their game, every child receives a free snow cone!
The Lakefront Park is also home to the Monument of States, the majestic 50-foot tower dedicated to American unity. This work of art was built using granite, quartz, and fossils from every state in the United States, making it extra special to see on Independence Day. Snap pictures and share them on social media to spread the patriotic spirit!
Fireworks are a must-have for any Fourth of July celebration! It’s nothing short of magical to watch the twilight show just over Lake Tohopekaliga.
Free things to do in Orlando in July
There are many events in Orlando July that draw in both tourists and locals. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a fun, memorable summer either, for there are plenty of free things to do in Orlando in July!
There’s nothing like a beach vacation on a hot summer’s day. Relax and unwind with your family at one of Orlando’s many beaches. Beaches provide plenty of free entertainment for families, whether it’s playing beach volleyball or building sandcastles. Take a dip or lounge and soak up some vitamin D while allowing the sound of the waves breaking on the coast to soothe you. Visit one of the many free RV and tent campsites in and around Orlando to up your vacation game even more!
Spend your weekend mornings at a Farmers Market that hosts local vendors selling their seasonal produce. You’ll get to discover how enjoyable it is to buy fresh groceries directly from a farmer’s hand, along with live music and tons of mingling! The most well-known markets in and around Orlando are located in Eola Park, Lake Mary, and East Orlando.
If you want a fun, family-event-like environment without having to spend a fortune, set aside a day to attend Sunset Walk. Pick the date you visit based on the event list. The show car Saturday nights, the promenade’s artisan market, and the studio cinema grill’s Children’s summer series are all popular with kids. The Car & Truck Show is a free summer event held on July 10th, where historic car and truck collectors display their models from the past and present.
Popcorn Flicks in the Park is a monthly free cinema night hosted for families who love outdoor theaters! Snuggle up under the stars and munch on some junk food while enjoying movie night at Winter Park. It doesn’t get more heartfelt than that.
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